Set in Nevada in the 1860's, Bonanza chronicled the adventures of the Cartwright family who owned a large ranch called The Ponderosa. Ben Cartwright and his three sons, Adam, Hoss, and Joe fought for what was just and decent in a time where lawlessness was common.
The widowed patriarch Ben Cartwright had three sons, each by a different wife: the oldest was the urbane architect Adam Cartwright, who built the ranch house. The second was the warm and lovable giant Eric, better known by his nickname "Hoss." And the youngest was the hotheaded and impetuous Joseph or "Little Joe." They all lived and worked on The Ponderosa. Nearby Virginia City helped populate the episodes with guest starring characters from all over America.
Broadcast between September 1959 and January 1973. Filmed by the National Broadcasting Company at Paramount Studios.
Captivated by the pretty, deaf-mute daughter of a reclusive mountain man, Little Joe teaches the young woman sign language. Thrilled with her newfound ability to communicate, Annie mistakes her gratitude to Little Joe for love, much to the chagrin of Albie, who is determined to have her for his own.
January 31, 2012 Subject:
The Miracle Worker
This is a really great Bonanza episode. Although Adam and Hoss are not in it, Little Joe shines as he tries to teach the mute girl, Stella Stevens, to talk using sign language. The breakthrough comes when a thundrstorm hits and it starts to rain. She finally understands the concept of language and what rain is. I wonder if this was inspiration for the later 1962 movie, The Miracle Worker? The breakthrough in that story also involved water. Seeing as how this episode was broadcast in December 1960, it could very well have been some inspiration for the movie. Either way, it's a very touching episode and with directorial duties handled by Robert Altman, it plays very well. I highly recommend this episode.
December 1, 2011 Subject:
Stella Stevens plays against her looks using only her expressions, gestures, and body language as a sheltered deaf-mute who slowly learns to communicate. Albert Salmi specialized in creating repulsive characters, and here plays the unpleasant brute with less than honorable desires. This was Robert Altman's first of eight directing assignments for Bonanza, and shows early signs of his skill with some inventive staging and camera angles.
August 2, 2011 Subject:
silent thunder - good work from all
Film buff alert-
Directed by Robert Altman in his early days.
Stella Stevens and Albert Salmi are both excellent